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Monday, July 22, 2024

Izeze, Okunna, Others Named Members As NPO Inaugurates National Media Ombudsman

 

By Izunna Okafor

In a significant step towards promoting accountability and excellence in journalism, the Nigeria Press Organisation (NPO) officially inaugurated the National Media Complaints Commission.

The NPO, representing prominent media bodies such as the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, civil society, and MacArthur Foundation, spearheaded the initiative.

The primary objectives of the commission are to oversee media practices, serve as a co-regulator, offer an impartial platform for swift complaint resolution, safeguard journalism standards, and protect both press freedom and the public’s right to information.

Heading the nine-member commission is Mr. Emeka Izeze, an esteemed former Editor and Managing Director of The Guardian newspapers. The distinguished panel also includes Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), former President of the Nigerian Bar Association; Prof Chinyere Okunna, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Paul University, Awka, Anambra State; Dr Hussaini Abdu, Country Director of Care International; Mr. Lanre Idowu, Editor-in-Chief of Diamond Publications; Mrs Eugenia Abu, a veteran broadcaster; Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, and Mrs. Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo, a former Editor.

Kabiru Yusuf, President of the NPO and the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, emphasized the need for media self-regulation through collaboration with civil society and other professionals. Referred to as the National Media Complaints Commission and The Ombudsman, the commission aims to avoid government intervention while enhancing the media’s credibility and public confidence. Notably, the Commission seeks to foster a more professional approach to journalism and adherence to ethical standards, ultimately contributing to the nation’s progress and governance.

At the inauguration event held in Lagos, Sam Amuka-Pemu, Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, expressed optimism about the positive impact the commission would have on the media landscape and the country as a whole. The call for stakeholders’ support underlines the commission’s collaborative approach to ensure a robust and responsible media ecosystem in Nigeria.

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